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Snohomish – Antique Capital of the Northwest

Washington Filmworks (WF) uses our Location of the Month newsletters to showcase the diversity of unique looks and resources for production in a number of jurisdictions around Washington State. Find previous installments archived on our website and on the WF Blog.

City of Snohomish – October 2014

Photo credit: City of Snohomish

Photo credit: City of Snohomish

Historic Snohomish is listed in both the state and national registers of historic places. Founded in 1859, Snohomish is known as the “Antique Capital of the Northwest” and is a treasure trove of historic buildings and homes. Bound by the Snohomish and Pilchuck Rivers, Snohomish has 37 acres of park land and 61 acres of Blackmans Lake. The gateway to the Centennial Trail, Snohomish follows abandoned rail lines north to Skagit County. Its farm valley has miles of country roads that wind through the lush and scenic farmlands. Harvey Field airport serves fixed wing and rotor-wing aircrafts and is home to world-class skydiving and hot air ballooning.

Snohomish Weather

Photo credit: Larry Bauman

Photo credit: Larry Bauman

Snohomish has temperate weather with dry warm summers and mild winters with light rain precipitation.

Average Temperature:

January – High 47.0 F, Low 34.0 F

July – High 76.0 F, Low 53.0 F


January Rainfall – 6.24 inches

July Rainfall – 1.33 inches


Projects Filmed in Snohomish

Photo credit: City of Snohomish

Photo credit: City of Snohomish


  • T-Mobile


  • You Can’t Win
  • 7 Minutes
  • Chase
  • Hot Pursuit
  • Past Midnight
  • Twin Peaks: Fire Walk With Me
  • Twice in a Lifetime
  • Bustin’ Loose


  • My Classic Car Show
  • The Fugitive
  • Northern Exposure

Key Locations of Interest

Photo credit: City of Snohomish

Photo credit: City of Snohomish

Key Locations of Interest
  • Bailey Farms
  • Blackman Lake
  • Centennial Trail
  • Craven Farm
  • G.A.R. Cemetery
  • Hagen Family Farm
  • Harvey Field
  • Historic Business District
  • Historic Homes District
  • Ironworks
  • Pioneer Village
  • Snohomish River Trail
  • Snohomish River Trestle
  • Stocker Farms
  • Thomas Family Farm

Distance to Closest Large Washington Airport

  • Seattle-Tacoma International Airport is 40 miles from Snohomish
  • Paine Field Snohomish County Airport is 15 miles from Snohomish

Distance to Closest Large Cities in Washington

  • Everett is 9 miles from Snohomish
  • Seattle is 30 miles from Snohomish

Relevant Contact Name and Information

  • Local Film Liaison – Debbie Emge, Economic Development Manager, City of Snohomish, ­(360) 282-3197,
  • Agency that issues permits and costs – Katie Hoole, Permit Coordinator, City of Snohomish, (360) 282-3156,, there is no cost to film, but you may need a Right of Way Permit.
  • Police or Sheriff’s Department or agency that handles traffic control –  City of Snohomish Police, (360) 568-0888


Photo credit: Harvey Field

Photo credit: Harvey Field

A list of accommodations are available online at:


1411 Fourth Ave., Suite 420
Seattle,WA 98101
(206) 264-0667
Washington Filmworks is the non-profit 501(c)(6) organization that manages the state film and production incentive programs. Its mission is to create economic development opportunities by building and enhancing the competitiveness, profile, and sustainability of Washington’s film industry. We do this by creating possibilities for local and national filmmakers, offering comprehensive production support, as well as financial incentives.

Content Marketing’s Emergence in Washington State

Imagine you’re walking down a grocery aisle, passing the variety of dairy products. Your eyes hover over different types of milk and cheese as you think about what you want to cook your family for dinner tonight – and then they stop at a specific brand. Right then and there, the recognition of this type of cheese reminds you of earlier today when you were watching the brand’s YouTube channel and a recipe video on how to make Tomato Basil Pizza. You reach for the product, you grab the product, and you trust the product. You put the Kraft Natural Shredded Cheese into your cart while you start puzzling together the rest of tonight’s ingredients.

What may seem like a simple affinity for a product is actually a result of strategic content marketing. The Content Marketing Institute defines the term as a marketing technique of creating and distributing valuable, relevant and consistent content to attract and acquire a clearly defined audience – with the objective of driving profitable customer action. It brings consumers information about the product without making them feel targeted or bombarded, allowing them to develop a relationship with the brand. The strategy has worked for Kraft, with the company getting four times better ROI (Return On Investment) from content than traditional ads. They market their food to individuals (as opposed to segments), creating a trendy and entertaining way of engaging consumers. The hook clearly lies in content. 

Coming off the heels of our “Pulling Focus” panel, The Brave New World of Content and Commercials, it felt necessary and appropriate to examine how this shift is emerging in Washington State. The panel’s discussion ended with each participant agreeing that there is mutual opportunity for both client and agencies – the clients learn to market their product in new and unique ways, while agencies get to employ singular artists to create and carry out the content. Local companies like REI and Microsoft are engaging in bold marketing strategies that employ branded entertainment and eschew the traditional commercial models.

Seattle-based writer and video producer Thomas Kohnstamm was able to give us extra insight into how corporations are approaching the new world, and what roles the artists and production companies play.

“The technology industry is at the forefront of this move,” Kohnstamm explains. “They realize that they must have solid storytelling tactics to engage consumers because the old model of press releases and commercials isn’t engaging people in a personal way or the way it should in 2014. People are ignoring banner ads and regular commercials, and instead are migrating to social media sites like Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, and Pinterest. That’s where the audience is, and companies see that and try to fill those sites with alluring content.”

Kohnstamm notes that product placement is a huge part of branded entertainment, as well. “There’s a movement around producing branded entertainment that’s solely a push for the product – it works, but entertaining should be the first and foremost objective. After you have that down, companies and production agencies work to create a natural and authentic tie to the product.” Kohnstamm cites the Ray-Ban™ “Never Hide” campaign that shows unique people playing by their own rules, and makes the sunglasses appealing and accessible – the ads use storytelling to hook people and create a level of association.

“More specifically, in terms of the technology industry,” Kohnstamm explains, “They will work to create content about their employees. Alongside production companies, companies produce short pieces and stories about the people who work at their corporation – they profile their unique and cool jobs. These bits change the conversation and perspective of what it’s like to work at this tech company and why these roles are important.”

Kohnstamm highlights Washington as an environment that is taking significant advantage of content-marketing. “Washington has so many great production companies, but also huge technological corporations that can take risks in marketing and have deep enough pockets to experiment and invest with producers. This combination of creativity and industry is exciting, efficient, and cutting-edge.”

Kohnstamm also sees the relationship between these large companies and production agencies as symbiotic. “As this model becomes more mainstream, there will definitely be more interplay between the two. It will be interesting to see, once the idea of branded entertainment truly grows, how these corporations forge direct relationships with individual studios – rather than using other companies as middlemen. Hopefully, the model will evolve into the possibility of in-house production. Washington has so much talent here – once more direct relationships are created, companies will start to deliver better value to clients and the opportunities and jobs associated with content-marketing will rise.”

Branded entertainment is an undeniable shift in the world of production and advertising, but it is equal parts exciting and comforting that such a change will benefit each piece of the puzzle.

park novAbout Thomas Kohnstamm: Seattle-native Thomas Kohnstamm is a writer and video producer. He creates branded video storytelling for the likes of Microsoft and Caffe Vita through his companies Subtext Studios and Knuckle Sandwich Studios. He is also hard at work on his second novel.


Seattle’s Creative Community Constructs Conversation

Washington Filmworks participates in the Seattle Film Summit and relaunches Pulling Focus.

Lacey Leavitt and Ron Leamon speak on behalf of the WA Film PAC at the Seattle Film Summit.

Lacey Leavitt and Ron Leamon speak on behalf of the WA Film PAC at the Seattle Film Summit.

Washington Filmworks has had a busy week with the Seattle film community. The Northwest Film Forum set the stage for two great events that explored the business of film and the changes occurring within the industry.

The Seattle Film Summit launched the first of the two events. The Seattle Film Summit’s mission is to empower and inspire Washington state media producers, especially filmmakers, to discover and develop innovative methods of storytelling, funding, and distribution.  In its third year the Summit partnered with the Local Sightings Film Festival to bring the community a series of non-nonsense panels about the business of film.

Washington Filmworks Executive Director Amy Lillard participated in a panel on Saturday focusing on film and television production on the west coast, “From LA To Vancouver: Competition or Collaboration.” Joining Aaron Wolf (Filmmaker and CEO Howling Wolf Productions), Daniel Sol (Co-Founder and Co-Director of HollyShorts Film Festival), Rosalie Miller (Filmmaker), and moderator Stefan Hajek (Filmmaker, Wanderhouse Productions), Lillard was able to briefly discuss the production incentive program. She also detailed the Innovation Lab, a program designed to support Washington based filmmakers. Also interesting was the perspective LA filmmaker Wolf had on Washington’s filmmaking community, noticing that it promotes collaboration and positive experiences rather than fierce competition. Wolf effused how exciting and refreshing the filmmaking community is here, and how it espouses support over betrayal. Finally, the panel wrapped discussing whether Washington should promote their filmmakers across the country, or bring new talents into the state.

Following “From LA To Vancouver: Competition or Collaboration,” was a panel dedicated to the efforts of the Washington Film Political Action Committee (PAC). The group advocates for the growing film, television, and commercial industry in Washington and strives to educate the community and legislatures about the industry’s state and needs. WA Film PAC leaders Ron Leamon and Lacey Leavitt, and longtime film advocate James Keblas, were on hand to explain how the group promotes Washington State as a diverse and ideal environment for production and how important it is to have the industry advocated on its own behalf. Senator Jeanne-Kohl-Welles also participated in the conversation to give some Olympia insight and important information on how to approach elected officials about the film industry. WA Film PAC is doing very important work on behalf of the statewide film industry. Check out their website for more information.

Amy Lillard moderates a panel full of marketing expertise.

Amy Lillard moderates a panel full of marketing expertise.

Last night, Washington Filmworks re-launced “Pulling Focus” in Seattle, a series about the business of film with a discussion entitled “The Brave New World of Content and Commercials.” Lillard moderated a panel of advertising personalities – Paul Mattheaus (Chairman and Founder of Digital Kitchen), Lara Johannsen (Creative Manager at Wong Doody), Matt Peterson (CEO of Creature), and Norma Jean Straw (Director of Content Development, B47 Studios). The discussion explored the shifts caused by digital pipelines in the marketing world, and how the traditional model of 15 and 30-second commercials is now deemed antiquated in favor of bold and boundary-breaking content-marketing. Mattheaus noted the challenge today is how to engage audiences with a brand by not interrupting them, as commercials often do. He explains that artists (filmmakers, designers, etc.) are now at work with agencies, trying to create content with relevant meaning to not hook or catch consumers, but create genuine interest. Johannsen agreed, saying that companies hire highly creative individuals to think flexibly for each client and brand, and highlighted the interactivity at play in content-marketing. Citing Starbucks™’s YouTube channel in which several stories were told in several countries, Johannsen argued that branded entertainment models often change based on consumer habits – the more involved and active watchers get, the more interactive and dynamic the content becomes. Straw added to Johannsen’s perspective, saying that a prominent goal that pops up in this new environment is to balance the paying brand’s values with a key, original, and striking ways to reach audiences. Peterson thinks this new system comes down to one word: content. Agreeing with his peers, he sees branded entertainment as an opportunity to move out of the old format and tell deeper and fuller stories, assuring his client and consumers that it’s quality rather than interrupting noise. Altogether, the panelists concluded this new world of content and commercials is full of mutual opportunity – brands learn how to publicize and promote their products in a bold new way, while agencies employ gifted artists to make it happen.

The next of the Pulling Focus series will be in Spokane on Thursday, November 6th, with independent film producer Lacey Leavitt (Laggies, Lucky Them) on how to get your story from page to screen. Preceding the event will be a Town Hall meeting focused on lobbying and supporting elected officials.

Washington Film Festivals: Fall Edition

Golden leaves floating down to the ground, cool and chilly mornings, pumpkin spice lattes – these are things you might typically associate with fall. But, in our frenzy of a film world, this means that festival season has begun! Three particular film festivals – the Seattle Lesbian & Gay Film Festival, the Tacoma Film Festival, and the Orcas Island Film Festival – are about to kick off their respective programs with stunning lineups and exciting events. Washington Filmworks interviewed the festival directors about the identity and state of their organization, as well as to get a glimpse of what audiences can expect this year.

Photo courtesy of Ryan Davis.

Photo courtesy of Ryan Davis.

2014 Seattle Lesbian & Gay Film Festival (SLGFF): October 9-19
Executive Director: Jason Plourde; Festival Director: Kathleen Mullen

WF: The Seattle Lesbian & Gay Film Festival is heading into its 19th year. How has the identity and brand of the festival changed from its inception to 2014?
Jason: Our organization, Three Dollar Bill Cinema, was founded to produce the Seattle Lesbian & Gay Film Festival. And while it remains our largest program, it is just one of our year-round events. The size and scope of the festival has certainly evolved. In the first few years it was held in one cinema for seven days. Now we’re over 11 days at multiple venues and we’re able to show four times the amount of films. I think we’ve become a go-to festival for quality programming, fun guests, and great parties!
Kathleen: This festival has garnered national recognition for showcasing extraordinary and award-winning work, and it is a festival with a very loyal audience in a city that is excited about cinema. The LGBT community has really built the festival into THE event of the season. Many folks from all walks of life come out to attend and have a great time.

WF: In terms of programming, what can audiences anticipate and expect this year? What are your ‘must-sees’?
Kathleen: Audiences can anticipate 15 stellar shorts programs and an amazing collection of documentaries and features. Our Themes in Focus include World Watch, BFFS (Best Friends Forever), Local Connections, and Influential Women. We have a Thrive@5 series where all films are $5 at 5 PM. Some of these highlights include a transgendered love story, the documentary Off Road, and Alec Mapa: Baby Daddy. Alec Mapa will be in attendance. A major highlight of course is our Opening Night film Back on Board: Greg Louganis with Greg Louganis and Director Cheryl Furjanic in attendance. Our Centerpiece galas include the moving Blackbird starring the Academy Award® winner Mo’nique; the humorous and winsome Sundance hit Appropriate Behavior; and the intense and provocative Match, starring Patrick Stewart and Matthew Lillard. Lillard will be here along with director Stephen Belber for that screening. We close the festival with the comedy Life Partners about a gay woman and her best straight friend, played by Leighton Meester (Gossip Girl) and Gillian Jacobs (Community). And our parties are definitely “Don’t Miss” events, particularly our Club King After Party at Re-bar, put on by the infamous club promoter (and Seattle native) Mario Diaz!

WF: How do you two specifically see SLGFF benefiting the community, and what’s your vision of the festival as it enters its third decade soon?
Kathleen: For LGBTQ people a film festival like ours gives an opportunity to feel that you are part of a larger community, and to be able to see yourself and your experiences onscreen—to have characters and narratives that you can relate to. And it gives everyone a chance to see LGBTQ films that open another world or make you think about the issues in our community and in the greater LGBTQ world. It’s a unique forum for queer artists and filmmakers to show and discuss their work as well.
Jason: I see us continuing that mission and building on the support we can give to filmmaking happening in our local community.

SLGFF runs from October 9-19, and more information is available on their website.



Photo courtesy of Laura Marshall

2014 Tacoma Film Festival (TFF), October 9-16
Festival Director: Laura Marshall; Marketing Director at Grand Cinema: Zach Powers

WF: How did the Tacoma Film Festival originate, and what factors promote  Washington’s film culture?
TFF: TFF was started in 2006 by the Grand Cinema’s Executive Director at the time, Shawn Sylvian. They played 55 films within the course of a week including local films – one a documentary about Thea Foss who created the first maritime service to cross the Port of Tacoma. TFF is the leading programmer and presenter of new South Sound films and of the over 100 films selected annually for TFF, usually over a third of those are films by Pacific Northwest filmmakers.We make promoting Washington films one of our top priorities, programming them at prime hours in venues where we believe they will have the highest potential to draw great audiences. We also work very hard to pitch our Washington selections to the media who cover TFF.

WF: What is particularly exciting about this year’s lineup?
TFF: TFF is growing exponentially and we’re extremely excited to welcome one of the most accomplished and beloved film critics of our time, Leonard Maltin, to this year’s festival. Almost our entire staff has read at least one of his books and his reviews are read and watched widely by our patrons at The Grand Cinema. It will be the first time that TFF and The Grand have welcomed a film personality of this prestige to Tacoma and we’re hoping that Leonard will be the first of many. As not only a television personality, but also a critic, historian and scholar of film, Leonard very much embodies the culture of film dialogue, education and exploration that we try to cultivate at both TFF and The Grand.

WF: What is your vision for the future of the Tacoma Film Festival?
TFF: We see TFF as a celebration of independent film mirroring Tacoma’s diverse and eclectic sensibilities. Now in its ninth year, we see the festival as an established and highly valued regional arts event, but each year our staff pushes ourselves to expand programming, find even better films and try to promote the festival to even more cinephiles both in Tacoma/Pierce County and beyond. Bringing in a major special guest this year in Leonard Maltin is a major expansion in programming and we’re sure it’s something we will be doing more of. TFF will always prioritize celebrating local film, but part of how we do that is holding up the best of local film right alongside the best of national and international indie film. As we grow we’re able to be increasingly selective in the national and international films we program and we’re able to book increasingly prestigious filmmakers and personalize to headline our events. In that way TFF is very much a formally “local” film festival in the midst of transitioning to the much more exclusive rank and file of “regional/national” film festival.

WF: How do you see Tacoma benefiting from the festival?
TFF: Tacoma’s arts scene is extraordinarily vibrant, home to a cadre of award-winning major arts organizations as well as thriving DIY film, visual arts, and music communities. You’d truly be hard pressed to find a city of 200,000 residents anywhere in the world indulging in such a passionate love-affair with the visual and performance arts. That said, because we’re not an enormous city we don’t have a ton of overlap in terms of who does what for major arts programs and events. The Grand Cinema is the flagship for independent film programs and TFF is its biggest event of the year and is by far the largest film festival in Pierce County. Any city as arts-centric as Tacoma deserves to have a great film festival, so not only does Tacoma benefit by having one, we feel a great honor to deliver a film festival befitting of our city’s arts scene. TFF is also an event that unites multiple centers for arts and culture as in addition to The Grand Cinema, TFF screenings are also held at The Museum of Glass, University of Washington Tacoma, and Tacoma Community College.

TFF runs from October 9-16, and more information is available on their website.

Photo courtesy of Jared Lovejoy.

Photo courtesy of Jared Lovejoy.

2014 Orcas Island Film Festival (OIFF), October 10-13
Co-Producer and Creative Director: Jared Lovejoy; Artistic Director: Carl Spence

WF: This is the first annual Orcas Island Film Festival. What was the impetus and motivation behind it?
The San Juan Island Archipelago and, in particular, Orcas Island is an incredible cinematic environment. The Islands are also known for being supportive of the arts and progressive issues. Most importantly, there is a longtime cinema – The Seaview – on the island along with other great vibrant venues such as the Orcas Center which provide a strong foundation for the community to come together and showcase culture from around the world.

WF: How would you describe the character of your festival?
The festival is a community effort put together entirely by volunteers that are passionate about film. We want to highlight films that push the edge and promote ideas that can illuminate and provoke discussion, debate, and, at the same time, entertain.

WF: Besides it being the first year, what kind of exciting films and events can audiences expect?
We’ve put together an extraordinary line-up of films from 17 countries in our first year including 4 Academy Award® Submissions for Best Foreign Language Film from three continents: Chile (To Kill a Man), Spain (Living is Easy with Eyes Closed), Canada (Mommy), and Belgium (Two Days, One Night).  A definite must see highlight is the audience award-winner from the most recent Toronto International Film Festival – The Imitation Game – which many critics are already touting as one of the best pictures of the year with standout performances by Benedict Cumberbatch and Keira Knightley. The film will be released in Seattle on Christmas Day. [There are also] fantastic documentaries looking at a wide-range of topics from the Yogi that brought Yoga to the US in the 20s (Awake: The Life of Yogananda), to the music shaman who resides on Orcas Island (Song of the New Earth) to a magical and quirky look at garden obsessed lovers – literally and figuratively – in Finland (Garden Lovers), amongst other fascinating topics. Renowned filmmakers with films in the festival include Jean-Pierre and Luc Dardenne, Xavier Dolan, David Trueba, Lynn Shelton and Lucas Moodyson, amongst others.

WF: What are your hopes and vision for the Orcas Island Film Festival in the future?
OIFF: Our hopes are for audiences to discover this magical place and setting and to see films that can also provide an equally rewarding experience. [We’d love] to expand the filmmaking opportunities as well as support film culture – the free exchange of ideas [that] build a stronger community on and off the island.

WF: What do you hope to achieve, this year at least, with the new festival?
To provide the foundation for an annual event that will bring people to Orcas and provide filmmakers with an opportunity to share their work with audiences and each other.

OIFF runs October 10-13, and more information is available on their website.

Make sure to check out these three distinct and rousing film festivals, in addition to many more happening this time of year – Ellensburg Film Festival, Renton Film Frenzy, Seattle Latino Film Festival (SLFF), Seattle South Asian Film Festival (SSAFF), Maelstrom International Fantastic Film Festival, North Bend Mountain Film Festival, Seattle Polish Film Festival (SPFF), Seattle Social Justice Film Festival, Quick Shot Film Festival, Tri-Cities International Film Festival (TCIF3), Gig Harbor Film Festival (GHFF), Irish Reels Film Festival, Bleedingham Film Festival, Celluloid Bainbridge Film Festival, Friday Harbor Film Festival, Olympia Film Festival, 48 Hour Horror Film Project: Seattle, and Seattle Shorts Film Festival!


Local Sightings at Northwest Film Forum is Back!


Returning tonight is the Local Sightings Film Festival, hosted every year by the Northwest Film Forum (NWFF) in Seattle’s Capitol Hill. Local Sightings gathers together and showcases new films from talents all over the Northwest (from Alaska to Oregon) for audiences, allowing them to experience the wonder of homegrown and emerging artists. NWFF Program Director Courtney Sheehan has worked hard to produce this year’s festival, which includes a number of screenings from the region’s most distinct artists. In addition, Sheehan has assembled artist talks, performances, networking events, and parties for this year’s festival, as well as the expanded and week-long Seattle Film Summit with panels on topics ranging from filming all across the West Coast to the strategy of the Washington Film Political Action Committee (PAC).

Even with so much excitement and activity going on, Sheehan kindly took the time to sit down with Washington Filmworks and discuss Local Sightings 2014’s lineup, events, and conferences.

Washington Filmworks: Thank you so much for taking the time to chat about Local Sightings 2014. This is the 17th year of Local Sightings – what does that mean for the Northwest Film Forum and the filmmaking community of the Northwest? 

Courtney Sheehan: Seventeen years ago, NWFF was known as Wiggly World –  a group of filmmakers who ran the Grand Illusion and supported local film production in whatever ways they could. The internet had not yet radicalized how people make and watch movies, and films were still shot and shown on film. Ten years ago, 16 of the films in Local Sightings were projected on 16mm film! The program for this year’s festival reflects what has changed and what has stayed the same both for Northwest filmmakers and at NWFF. While very few movies today are shot on film, more movies are being made – this year we’re showing twice as many feature films as we did ten years ago. NWFF remains a hub for community gatherings, but the content of conversation has transformed. This year’s Seattle Film Summit includes topics on the gaming industry, DIY distribution and publicity strategies for the startup era. This is also the first year Local Sightings includes a program and discussion on interactive and multi-platform work. Boundaries between media forms are blurring, opening up new opportunities for filmmakers in other fields – and new ways for organizations like NWFF to support independent film and media makers.

WF: In addition to the screenings, what exciting talks and panels can audiences anticipate this year? 

CS: The opening night puts the emphasis on the people that make up this community by introducing the filmmakers before we screen their films. Attendees will get to hear from director and producer of Bella Vista, the opening film, before it screens the following night. Speakers from the Seattle Film Summit will give a glimpse of what’s in store during their panel discussions. Director, teacher, and choreographer Dayna Hanson will share highlights from the dance film class she’s teaching this season. Then, DJ Sharlese Metcalf from KEXP’s Audioasis will be spinning on the staircase in the lobby, and the new local brewery Outer Planet will make sure everyone’s thirst is slaked.

We are also hosting a free education open house and showcase of student work recently made in classes at NWFF. People can come and talk to instructors about their upcoming classes, and even sign up on the spot. There’s also a fantastic workshop being offered during the festival with Caryn Cline. Students will learn the ‘botanicollage’ technique used by filmmakers like Stan Brakhage, which entails creating handmade film frames using local botanicals – another fun local connection. The final product from that workshop will be screened the next day alongside a program of other experimental work, including Brakhage’s – and multiple films will be shown on 16mm.

Before the closing film and party, folks can gather for a Town Hall discussion hosted by the Seattle Film Industry Caucus. It’s a great opportunity for filmmakers to recap everything that was seen and discussed during the Seattle Film Summit and festival, and to let us know how we can best support their work. Then our last big party is right around the corner at Vermillion. Vermillion owner Diana Adams’s commitment to supporting local artists has truly set the standard on Capitol Hill. Naturally, her spot is one of the last bastions of bonafide cool in the Pike/Pine corridor.

WF: What are the largest benefits of hosting this festival every year – what impact does it have on the film culture of Washington, specifically? 

CS: I recently looked back at the festival lineup from ten years ago and noticed many familiar names: Megan Griffiths, Drew Christie, Lynn Shelton, Web Crowell, Bret Fetzer. As a platform for discovery, Local Sightings actively cultivates new film culture. You can look at the programs from year to year and track the development of new filmmaking voices in the region.

Here’s a story that quite directly illustrates the impacts the role that the fest has on the production of new work in WA state. Two years ago at Local Sightings, Brian Perkins won best short for his film The Heavens. He began developing a feature and when he needed a leading man, former program director Adam Sekuler connected him with Zach Weintraub (Local Sightings was the first festival in the US to screen Weintraub’s films). Together they made a feature that is premiering in Local Sightings this year.

Another example – local filmmaker Zeek Earl was on this year’s Filmmaker Magazine list of 25 New Faces of Independent Film. I met him at a party in his honor, where he told me he used to be a Local Sightings intern! Now we’re the Seattle premiere of his latest short, Prospect.

And it’s about more than discovering individual voices. It’s also about discovering opportunities for connection within and across communities. As the only festival in Seattle dedicated entirely to local and regional film, Local Sightings is the meeting grounds for film artists and professionals to connect with their neighbors – from across I-5, and even across state and national borders. Ideally, a screenwriter learns about a new area of opportunity in the city’s thriving gaming industry. A director-writer-producer-editor at a crossroads gains some insight from hearing Megan Griffiths and Tony Fulgham share their take and experiences with balancing artistic practice with commercial work (an idea that will be explored in-depth on a panel in the Film Summit). An audience member’s heart is moved or her mind is bent or her worldview is broadened. It all starts with coming to the movie theater to discover a new film, a new experience, a new friend.

WF: Are there any exciting Washington-based filmmakers emerging this year? 

CS: Kara Schoonmaker and Anna Conser’s 30-minute Maureen is a pure surrealist magic, with exquisite set design.  Andrew Finnigan’s debut Koinonia creates an effective dystopian atmosphere with a tiny budget – it’s a true accomplishment. High schooler Abbey Sacks is definitely one to watch – her short Connie shows a grace few filmmakers strike upon so young. Zeek Earl and Chris Caldwell are on Filmmaker Magazine’s 25 New Faces of Independent Film and their work has been strongly supported by SXSW. Arts scene fixture Greg Lundgren has made his first film, a one-take feature carried wonderfully by the performance of one non-actor.

WF: Finally, this year’s fest is going on in conjunction with the Seattle Film Summit – what can the filmmaking community expect from combination? 

CS: Each edition of the Seattle Film Summit has been held at NWFF as a partnership during Local Sightings, and this year we have deepened and expanded upon that collaboration. In addition to the main day of the Summit on Saturday the 27th, panels will be hosted throughout the festival. We have an all-star lineup of speakers and we can’t wait to unleash their expertise. We have reached farther into area media companies to bring in professionals from the design, tech, and gaming industries so filmmakers can get an even wider shot glimpse of developments in the creative industries.

We are extremely grateful to Courtney Sheehan for taking the time to share some incredible information and insight into Local Sightings 2014. The festival runs September 25th – October 4th at the Northwest Film Forum, and more information on the 10 day event is available on the festival’s website.

csheehan-199x300About Courtney Sheehan, Northwest Film Forum Program Director: Courtney Sheehan is program director for Northwest Film Forum. She has curated film programs and produced events for theaters and festivals on three continents. On a year-long Watson Fellowship, Courtney investigated the organizational structures, community roles, and programming strategies of twenty film festivals and media centers in India, Spain, the Netherlands, Brazil, Bosnia-Herzegovina, Croatia, Serbia and Macedonia. As a journalist, Courtney has covered film events ranging from the world’s largest documentary festival (IDFA in Amsterdam) to South America’s largest animation festival (Anima Mundi in Rio de Janeiro) and her publications include Bitch Magazine, Senses of Cinema, The Independent, and NECSUS: European Journal of Media Studies.

Pulling Focus Seattle, October 1st: The Brave New World of Content and Commercials

Paul Matthaeus (Digital Kitchen, Chairman and Founder), Lara Johannsen (Wong Doody, Creative Manager), and Norma Jean Straw (B47 Studios, Director of Content Development) lead the panel and guide us all into this fresh and shifting world.

Wednesday October 1st marks the return of Pulling Focus in Seattle, an exciting and informative series exploring the business of film. This particular event, set to take place during the 17th annual Local Sightings Film Festival at the the Northwest Film Forum, is an insightful look into the changing world of commercial production and their clients.

Panel Description:
We used to take commercials for granted. Fifteen to thirty seconds, pushing a product with minimal dialogue and lots of visuals  it was common, normal, and routine. But here we are, in 2014, and commercials are breaking boundaries. Clients are changing their needs, and so are consumers. Welcome to the world of redesign and branded entertainment, we will help you speak its language. Join us for a panel exploring content-marketing and how businesses are joining up with production companies and agencies to engage consumers through fresh, bold, and sexy ways of storytelling. You’ll hear from fascinating professionals on what client demands entail, why Commercialize Seattle is leading the charge, and how large businesses, local crews, and everyday consumers are affected.

The panel will be moderated by Warren Etheredge, host of “Reel NW” and Editor-At-Large of Media, Inc. 

We encourage guests to continue the conversation after the panel at a cocktail reception hosted on site.

Tickets are available at

They are $15, or $10 if you are a member of or affiliated with any of the organizations listed below.

This edition of Pulling Focus is hosted by:




This panel in partnership with:

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It is produced by:






Mark your calendars for Wednesday, October 1st, to receive first-hand insight and expertise from the industry’s finest on this fascinating new world of content and commercials.

Announcing the Innovation Lab Results


Contact: Andrew Espe / 206.264.0667  

Washington Filmworks Announces Funding Assistance Recipients 

For 2014 Innovation Lab

 Program designed to support Washington filmmakers using new forms of production and emerging technologies

Seattle, WA – September 23, 2014 – Washington Filmworks is pleased to announce the recipients of funding assistance from the third cycle of the Filmworks Innovation Lab. The program, which is part of a long term economic development strategy, invests in the future of film by capitalizing on Washington’s creative community and artists while encouraging original storytelling that uses new forms of production and technology. Following a “Pitch Session” of the program in which finalists presented new business and revenue models that leverage Washington’s film infrastructure in the digital era, the jury made their official recommendations and the Board has approved their decisions. Washington Filmworks is pleased to announce that $75,000 has been allocated to three exceptional projects.

The following is a list of projects that have been approved for funding assistance and the teams associated with each production. Also included are a brief synopsis and jury statement for each project:


This Brute Land Virginia – Neil Ferron (Writer/Director) and Ali el-Gasseir (Producer)

Synopsis: This Brute Land Virginia is a genre-blending short film set in a 17th-century pilgrim colony. An erotic thriller, a period piece, and a sci-fi-horror film, this short film fuses the elegance and tension of these genres into an original and engaging story. The short will be the flagship project of a larger franchise of art projects and digital content that includes work connected to the original story (such as a smartphone game) as well as content that moves beyond the film (minimalist fashion accessories, a comic series, and other forms of visual art).

Jury Comments: “Director Neil Ferron and Producer Ali el-Gasseir are part of an emerging collaborative art movement that characterizes the creative essence of Seattle. All of the artists working on the short film This Brute Land Virginia bring a wealth of experience in their own discipline into a new constellation, each of them representing a key element of great cinema. Their version of history is mutated and allows the audience to explore a universal story through an irreverent, queer point of view, all done with a pilgrim minimalist aesthetic.”


Wallflower – Jagger Gravning (Writer/Director) and John W. Comerford (Producer)

Synopsis: Wallflower is a harrowing drama based on actual events. The film tracks the journey of young people pursuing catharsis and joy confronted by a force of evil who has been invited into their midst. The story unfolds through a survivor coming to terms with her life in the wake of tragedy. Wallflower is a feature-length film that will tie into a non-fiction book written by Forensic Psychiatrist Dr. Richard Adler and a documentary web series on the roots of America’s ongoing rampage-shootings.

Jury Comments: “With a script based on the true story of the 2006 Capitol Hill Massacre, the written support of a survivor for the feature film Wallflower is just one reason to tell this compelling story. First time Filmmaker Jagger Gravning has assembled a strong team of producers including John W. Comerford and Robinson Devor, both of whom are industry veterans who provide a solid foundation for success. The compelling visual style of Cinematographer Joriah Goad will undoubtedly bring a lush, visual artistry to the production.”


War Room – Peter Adkison (Director/Executive Producer) and Kim Voynar (Producer/Art Director)

Synopsis: War Room is a short film set in Chaldea, a unique fantasy world that borrows heavily on real-world mythology and history. Legatus Reiswitz Gustavus, commander of an Imperial Legion, seeks out the help of a toy maker to create exquisite toy soldiers for use in war games designed to train officers and save lives in a bloody world conflict that looms on the horizon. The Chaldea series will tell an epic fantasy story in multiple platforms (including digital graphic novels) with its tableau of memorable characters, dramatic through-lines, and high fantasy.

Jury Statement: “A short film that intersects seamlessly with a digital graphic novel, War Room will treat audiences to a fantasy world filled with dragons, orcs, swordsmen and powerful female knights. Executive Producer and Director Peter Adkison brings a strong business plan and years of industry experience and success in gaming to this project. With universal themes that touch on loyalty, friendship, truth and consequences, fans can look forward to many years of storytelling from this dedicated and passionate team. This piece serves as the introduction to a grander vision to be produced on a digital platform that will appeal to the geek in all of us.”


Washington Filmworks worked with a dedicated jury to evaluate projects and select funding assistance recipients from a pool of applicants. The jury is comprised of industry experts, representing all aspects of motion picture production, multi-platform storytelling, and emerging entertainment models. Final decisions were based on the merits of each project and its investment in Washington State, and each finalist pushed the boundaries of motion picture production and proposed creative revenue models and multi-platform options. Washington Filmworks is especially grateful for the dedication and guidance of our jury.

“We are passionate about this program because it represents the future of filmmaking in Washington State,” said Amy Lillard, Executive Director of Washington Filmworks. “These three projects are exciting and captivating, full of stunning originality and integrity. They think outside of the box with fascinating multi-platform variety and lead the digital revolution in the entertainment industry. Utilizing and applying exciting business models and technological advancements, these three projects are economically stimulating and assert film as the cornerstone of Washington’s Creative Economy.”


About the Innovation Lab: The Filmworks Innovation Lab is designed to invest in our local creative community and to encourage the development of original storytelling that capitalizes on new forms of production and technology. By leveraging our existing film infrastructure and the diversity of our in-state technology resources, Washington is uniquely positioned to incubate a groundbreaking digital entertainment platform that fosters a new Creative Economy for Washington State. More information on the Innovation Lab here.

About Washington Filmworks: Washington Filmworks’ is the non-profit 501 (c)(6) organization that manages the state film office and production incentive programs. Our mission is to create economic development opportunities by building and enhancing the competitiveness, profile and sustainability of Washington’s film industry. We do this by creating possibilities for local and national filmmakers and offering comprehensive production support as well as financial incentives.